Annoyed Hatters boss calls for some 'perspective' after seeing his team 'lambasted' for Watford loss

Town manager doesn’t want anyone to overreact to Vicarage Road defeat
Nathan Jones applauds the Luton fans against Sunderland this afternoonNathan Jones applauds the Luton fans against Sunderland this afternoon
Nathan Jones applauds the Luton fans against Sunderland this afternoon

Luton boss Nathan Jones has called for some ‘perspective’ after feeling his team were unduly ‘lambasted’ in some quarters for their efforts during the 4-0 defeat to sworn enemies Watford last weekend.

The eagerly awaited contest at Vicarage Road, which saw fans able to attend for the first time since 2006 due to the recent coronavirus pandemic, saw Town handed their heaviest defeat of the season by a rampant Hornets side, with chief executive Gary Sweet taking to his programme notes ahead of this afternoon’s clash with Sunderland to apologise for what he described as a ‘horror show’ of an afternoon.

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However, following the 1-1 draw with the Black Cats, which left Town sitting ninth, just three points off the play-off places they reached last term, then Jones, who celebrated his 300th game in charge of the club, with a record now reading 140 wins, 82 draws and 78 defeats, admitted he had been left annoyed by some of the criticism.

He said: “I understand that, but I really want some perspective in that.

“I understand that a defeat against Watford is tough to take for everyone, but this group are giving this club everything and Watford have considerably more resources than us.

“So if a Joao Pedro, a (Ismaila) Sarr, wants to turn up, then they’re difficult to contain, because they’re 80 million pound players, 40 million pound players, earning five, six, seven times more than any my players are earning, so with the greatest of respect to everyone, we have to have some perspective.

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“This team, they’ve been lambasted, they’ve been called embarrassed, they’ve been called everything.

“That annoys me a little bit because I know it’s a rivalry, but they give us everything.

“They’ve given you more good days.

“I’ve been here 300 games. Half of those we’ve won, a quarter of them we’ve drawn, so they’ve only had a quarter of 300 bad days, so that isn’t bad.

“They’ve had promotions, they’ve had play-off semis, all against the grain and let’s not forget that.

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“Yes, it was a bad result last week. I’ve been sick to recover, but this team will give you everything.

“I understand the frustration of the fans but I just want them to understand that we hurt like they do and we move on.

“There’s a lot that’s been written about it and I just need to calm things down.

“Yes, we lost a game against our local rivals and that’s what it is, but let's not forget, we beat QPR and we beat Norwich last week.

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“With the greatest of respect, if we’d beaten QPR, got pumped at Norwich, and then beaten Watford, what a week it would have been, I might have had a statue in town, it's that type of thing.

“So I understand the reaction, but I don't want to overreact and keep on about it, because the players hurt and the fans should know that the players hurt as they've seen them.

“They've seen my team for 300 games and that team doesn’t often wilt, that team doesn't often shirk responsibility, that team doesn’t often give in and realistically we’ve won half the games, which is a good record, I’m proud of that record.

“Then out of the other half it’s neck and neck for how many we've lost and how many we’ve drawn, so we haven’t lost over 30 per cent of the games, so that shows were in a decent place.

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“Considering the leagues we're in, were not (Pep) Guardiola that has got the best players in the world and plays in the Premier League so you know what you’re going to get.

“This is League Two, League One, Championship and we’ve had to come back from the brink of death, then build, then last year, so what a great group and I don’t want us to forget that.”

Jones did accept that any flak coming his or his players way on social media was to be taken with a pinch of salt, as he was quick to praise true Luton fans for their reaction, plus the support from those who were in attendance at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

He added: “I thought the fans were excellent, the fans were brilliant.

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"I don't read social media, but they applauded us off the ones that were there (at Watford).

“Now it’s easy to keyboard things, quite easy, and they might not even be true Luton fans.

“They can be anyone, anyone trying to stoke a fire, but the true Luton fans know and they get behind you and they were brilliant,

“Today the reaction was really good and today wasn’t a rousing performance like we normally give but it was a performance and they appreciated that, so all I'm saying is from the outside, let's not overreact.

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“Our fans are brilliant and they always get behind us so I just want everyone else not to overreact and bring it on the players.

“The players then think ‘well hang on I've given my life for this club’ and they do, they're a great group.”